Saturday, November 6, 2010

Today is the 150 years anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's election

Sir, on this day after 150 years, people still remembered your remarkable and memorable election to be the first Republican candidate to win the presidency, thank you for all you did during the Civil War, you are truly the President of the Union, may you rest in peace!

President Elect Abraham Lincoln in 1860

The Electoral College of 1860

150 years ago, Lincoln's election set march to war

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the wounds of a hard-fought political campaign still raw, the country was sharply divided by the time the election was finished.

It was 150 years ago Saturday: President Abraham Lincoln was elected amid the rising tensions that led to the Civil War.

The anniversary of Lincoln's election kicks off nearly five years of events by the National Park Service and others marking the Sesquicentennial of the war between North and South.

"We're trying to say it's more than battles," Park Service tourism chief Dean Reeder said of the Civil War commemorations. Lincoln's election helps frame the context of what would come, he said.

Coming on the heels of this year's polarizing elections, the anniversary echoes the nation's fractious mood back then.

"I think a lot of people will notice it was a contentious election in 2010, and it was a way contentious election in 1860," Reeder said.

A century and a half ago, in a nation already torn by disputes over states' rights and the expansion of slavery, the Democratic Party split into Southern and Northern factions. Lincoln, a Republican, won without a taking single Southern state. Within a month, Southern states began declaring secession.

Reenactments of the 1860 election will take place Saturday in Kentucky and at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Ill.

Later, the Park Service will recreate Lincoln's journey from Illinois to the nation's capital and his inauguration in March 1861.

Plans are well under way for many events next year: the war's first bloodshed in Baltimore when a Massachusetts regiment was attacked, the first battle at Fort Sumter in South Carolina and the first major land battle at Manassas, Va., in July 1861.

As many as 15,000 historical reenactors are slated to perform in the Manassas recreation. Later events will mark the battles at Antietam, Gettysburg and beyond.

The Park Service is working with dozens of partners to coordinate the many Civil War events planned through 2015 at more than 75 different battlefields and historic sites, as well as at museums and other privately operated sites.

Next week, the National Archives will open the second part of its "Discovering the Civil War" exhibit with several rarely shown documents on view through April 2011.

Many more events across the country in the years ahead will highlight the key battles, their impact on the home front and the progress toward civil rights, according to the Park Service plan. A new website will launch this month with dates and details for Civil War enthusiasts to plan ahead.

The United States presidential election of 1860 set the stage for the American Civil War. The nation had been divided throughout most of the 1850s on questions of states' rights and slavery in the territories. In 1860, this issue finally came to a head, fracturing the formerly dominant Democratic Party into Southern and Northern factions and bringing Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party to power without the support of a single Southern state. Hardly more than a month following Lincoln's victory came declarations of secession by South Carolina and other states, which were rejected as illegal by outgoing President James Buchanan and President-elect Lincoln.


Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861, beneath the unfinished capitol domeAbraham Lincoln was elected President in the 33 states on Tuesday, November 6, 1860. Each state chose a number of Electors by a formula based on the census of free persons. A bonus counted three-fifths of 'other persons' for states which had not yet abolished slavery.

The Electoral College met on February 11, 1861, and Vice President John C. Breckinridge, opening the ballots found Abraham Lincoln elected President by a Constitutional majority, 180 of the 303 possible. The lame duck 36th Congress with a Republican minority, certified the Electoral College’s findings true.

The pro-slavery Chief Justice Roger B. Taney of the Supreme Court swore Lincoln in as US President on March 4, 1861, on the steps of the unfinished US Capitol in Washington, DC. The inauguration convened under death threats severe enough that a US military guard was provided by the Virginia-born General Winfield Scott.

In 1860, for yet another Presidential election, no party found the key to popular vote majorities. All six Presidents elected since Andrew Jackson (1832) had been one term presidents, and of the last four, only Franklin Pierce (50.83%) had found a statistical majority in the popular vote. But the 1860 election was noteworthy for the exaggerated sectionalism of the vote in a country that was soon to dissolve into civil war.

Results by state for Electoral College votes. Red for Lincoln. Dark grey, unionist northern Democrat Dougas. Middle grey in Lower South for Breckinridge; lightest grey for unionist Bell, supports secession after Sumter.
Results by county explicitly indicating the percentage of the winning candidate in each county. Shades of red are for Lincoln, shades of blue are for pro-union Democrat Douglas, shades of green are for John Breckinridge, and shades of yellow are for Constitutional Unionist Bell.

Grey are counties with no results.The men voting in the South were not as monolithic as an Electoral College map appears. In the three regions of the South, unionist popular votes for Lincoln, Douglas and Bell were a divided majority in four of the four Border South slave states (De, Md, Ky, Mo). In four of the five Middle Border states, unionist majority balloted (Va, Tn) or neared it (NC, Ar); (TX to Breckinridge convincingly). In the Deep South in three of the six, unionists won divided majorities in (Ga, La) or neared it (AL). Breckinridge won convincingly in the Deep South in only three of the six (SC, Fl, Ms). These three held among the four fewest whites in the Deep South states, 9% of all southern whites.

Of the eleven states that would later declare their secession from the Union, Lincoln was on the ballot only[17] in Virginia, getting just 1.1 percent of the popular vote there. In the four slave states which did not secede (Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware), he came in fourth in every state except Delaware (where he finished third). Lincoln won only two counties of 996 in those four states, both in Missouri.(In the 1856 election, the Republican candidate for president had received no votes at all in 13 of the 15 slave states).

The split in the Democratic Party was not a decisive factor in Lincoln's victory. Lincoln captured less than 40% of the popular vote, but almost all of his votes were concentrated in the free states, and he won every free state except for New Jersey. He won outright majorities in enough of the free states to have won the Presidency by an Electoral College vote of 169-134 even if the 60% of voters who opposed him nationally had united behind a single candidate.

In New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, the anti-Lincoln vote did in fact combine into fusion tickets, but Lincoln still won a majority in the first two states and four electoral votes from New Jersey.[20] The fractured Democratic vote did tip California, Oregon, and four New Jersey electoral votes to Lincoln, giving him 180 Electoral College votes. Only in California, Oregon, and Illinois was Lincoln's victory margin less than seven percent. In New England, he won every county.

Breckinridge, who was the sitting Vice-President of the United States and the only candidate to later support secession, won 11 of 15 slave states, finishing second in the Electoral College with 72 votes. He carried the border slave states of Delaware and Maryland, and nine of the eleven states that later formed the Confederacy, missing Virginia and Tennessee. However, Breckinridge received very little support in the free states, showing strength only in California, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

Bell carried three slave states (Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia), finished second in the other slave states, and got tiny shares of the vote in the free states. Douglas had the most geographically widespread support, with 5-15% of the vote in most of the slave states and higher percentages in most of the free states where he was the main opposition to Lincoln. With his votes thus scattered around the country, Douglas finished second in the popular vote with 29.5% but last in the Electoral College, winning only Missouri and New Jersey.

The voter turnout rate in 1860 was the second-highest on record (81.2%, second only to 1876, with 81.8%).

Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote(a) Electoral
vote Running mate Running mate's
home state Running mate's
electoral vote
Count Pct
Abraham Lincoln Republican Illinois 1,865,908 39.8% 180 Hannibal Hamlin Maine 180
John C. Breckinridge Southern Democratic Kentucky 848,019 18.1% 72 Joseph Lane Oregon 72
John Bell Constitutional Union/Whig Tennessee 590,901 12.6% 39 Edward Everett Massachusetts 39
Stephen A. Douglas Northern Democratic Illinois 1,380,202 29.5% 12 Herschel Vespasian Johnson Georgia 12
Other 531 0.0% — Other —
Total 4,685,561 100% 303 303
Needed to win 152 152

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led the country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserved the Union, and ended slavery. Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, he was mostly self-educated. He became a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, and a one-term member of the United States House of Representatives, but failed in two attempts at a seat in the United States Senate. He was an affectionate, though often absent, husband, and father of four children.

As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States, Lincoln won the Republican nomination and was elected president in 1860. As president he concentrated on the military and political dimensions of the war effort, always seeking to reunify the nation after the secession of the eleven Confederate States of America. He vigorously exercised unprecedented war powers, including the arrest and detention, without trial, of thousands of suspected secessionists. He issued his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and promoted the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery. Six days after the surrender of the main Confederate forces, Lincoln was assassinated, the first President to suffer such a fate.

Lincoln closely supervised the war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including Ulysses S. Grant. He brought leaders of various factions of both parties into his cabinet and pressured them to cooperate. He defused a confrontation with Britain in the Trent affair late in 1861. Under his leadership, the Union took control of the border slave states at the start of the war, and tried repeatedly to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond; each time a General failed, Lincoln substituted another, until finally Grant succeeded in 1865. A shrewd politician deeply involved with patronage and power issues in each state, he managed his own re-election in the 1864 presidential election.

As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican party, Lincoln came under attack from all sides. Radical Republicans wanted harsher treatment of the South, Democrats desired more compromise, and secessionists saw him as their enemy.[2] Lincoln fought back with patronage, by pitting his opponents against each other, and by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory,[3][4] The Gettysburg Address of 1863, although short, became one of the most quoted speeches in history. It became an iconic statement of America's dedication to the principles of nationalism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy. At the close of the war, Lincoln held a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to speedily reunite the nation through a policy of generous reconciliation. Lincoln has consistently been ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.

No comments:

Post a Comment